Rush Hour Prophet – a poem by J. Culain Fripp

Rush Hour Prophet

Benediction beneath
the bridge

Olive branch in his hand
or perhaps
a victorious palm?

He blesses
the hurried,
steel masses
moving into the city

He wears no crown
and his throne is
suitably thorny

Gray beard and
dark skin
weathered by days
and nights
in the free city air,
and under
god’s skies

On occasion joined
by a shadowy
apostle, standing
shoulder
to shoulder

Reminding me
to live
beyond my
rush-hour
frustration,
and
the daily news

The stoplight
catches me
brings me
eye to eye
with the silent prophet

I extend my
hand in offering
ask him
his name

“Moses,
my name
is Moses”

 

J. Culain Fripp is an Asheville, NC native who now lives in Geneva, Switzerland. Over 25 years dedicated to working, observing and reflecting on life in conflict and crisis-affected environments, internal and external, he has returned time and again to poetry as a journalistic practice. Most recently, his work has appeared in Rue Scribe. Instagram @Kalevala04

Deer at Advent – a poem by Richard Green

Deer at Advent

The dark deer come out at dusk,
out of the huisache and mesquite
and tangled vines,
their contours drawn in sinew and bone.
I watch them graze on grassy lawns
beneath the low spreading limbs
of great live oaks.

The light deer come on at dusk
on spacious lawns
with wreaths and sleighs
and Christmas trees,
their contours told in arcs of gold.
I watch them glow
beneath the low spreading limbs
of great live oaks.

The dark deer
and the light deer
together on grassy lawns
beneath the low spreading limbs
of great live oaks
celebrating wildness,
celebrating light,
solstice and
the grace of
salvation.

 

Richard Green lives in southern New Mexico in the Rio Grande Valley. He writes about natural phenomena mostly. His poetry can be seen in The Almagre Review, Penwood Review, Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders, The Avocet, The Anglican Theological Review, and Twitterization Nation. His website is www.anewmexicanpoet.com.

Mundane Magic – a poem by Melissa Pollock

Mundane Magic

I cut death off my neglected plants,
Not in sacrifice, in making room for new seeds of abundance.
I give them names and I tell them sweet stories to help them become their best selves.
I clean out my expired fridge,
Not in chore, in ceremony for new harvest.
I vacuum my carpet to clear decayed skin.
I use my broom to sweep dirt back to earth instead of myself to the stars.

Likewise, outside I collect fallen remnants of the season:
I hunt special sticks, particular pinecones and feathers.
I squeeze pimples and pluck hairs to reclaim my beauty
I cleanse myself and my crystals in essentials: oils and menses.
I touch myself softly for self-love and power.
I let fresh air into my bedroom to cancel out cheap candles and twice burnt sage.
I send silent wishes on wings of birds and butterflies.

I let the fruit fly live at the last moment,
My tiny hands an automatic weapon that won’t fire.
I laugh wildly at the crows jokes.
I converse with ghosts about the weather.
I recite names of flowers like scripture.
I roar like a lion to scare away my demons.
I wear a dead man’s necklace.
I sit in stillness –not boredom.

Then I revel in all the nothingness.

Melissa Pollock has been writing poetry for twelve years and although new to publishing –she is excited to be submitting work for review. Melissa’s writing conveys her fascination with spirit, the occult, the wild nature of women, and synthesizing opposites. She is a trained therapist, she enjoys spending time with her family, and practicing her craft.

Labor Day Morn – a poem by Arlene Antoinette

Labor Day Morn

Driving home from the hospital
at 8 o’clock Labor Day morning,
the road is vacant. No cars ahead of me,
none behind me. The streets are still,
except for the lone dog walker who
I believe, is also finding peace in the quiet
of this moment. Words come to mind,
the beginning of a poem about chirping red
cardinals, bright pink crepe myrtle trees
and aimlessly fluttering butterflies.

I reach down into the cup holder and grab
a pen. Out of the corner of my eye,
I see a random scrap of paper and ease
it from its resting place using the tips
of my index and middle fingers of my right
hand, steering the car with my left, quickly
scanning the road for possible oncoming traffic. I flip
the old golden corral receipt onto its backside
and begin scribbling the beginning of a poem.

I don’t stop writing as the red-light halts
my progression but aids my flow. I remain
at the light even after it reverts to green. I’m
not thinking about my father laying in a
hospital bed with a brain bleed. I’m not worrying
if he will be alive tomorrow. All I know in this
moment is that I’m surrounded by beauty
and silence. I look up and the light is still green,
I continue to hesitate in making a left turn. After the
left there will be a right which will lead back onto
the main road to tailgating, honking horns, and a reality
I prefer to forget.

 

Arlene Antoinette is a poet of West Indian birth who grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from Brooklyn College and worked as an instructor with disabled individuals for many years. You may find additional work by Arlene at Foxglove Journal, Little Rose Magazine, I am not a silent Poet, Tuck Magazine, The Feminine Collective, The Open Mouse, Amaryllis Poetry, Boston Accent Lit, Sick Lit Magazine, Postcard Shorts, 50 Word Stories, The Ginger Collect, Neologism Poetry Journal and Your Daily Poem.

Faith is for Followers – a poem by Sanjeev Sethi

Faith is for Followers

(1)

In this circus of pursuits reverses
are marked on maps designed by
divinity. Some theologues brand
this to causations in other births.

(2)

Shortcomings cat-sit my conscience
as I splurge on fourflushers who lure
me to regions of no-return. Bounties
in belief rescue me without reproof.

Sanjeev Sethi is the author of three books of poetry. His poems are in venues around the world:   A Restricted View From Under The Hedge, Pantry Ink, Bonnie’s Crew, Morphrog 16, Mad Swirl, The Penwood Review, Faith Hope & Fiction, Communion Arts Journal, and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India.

 

 

ode to the shopping mall in december – a poem by Rebecca Kokitus

ode to the shopping mall in december

 sleep in heavenly winter white noise, I wish I could / I’m caffeine awake / my body stillborn in the bustle of “what can I help you find today”

(can i help you find the rotten heart of it all / the ground floor of Macy’s / where I go on my breaks to disassociate / the back hallway intestines / behind doors marked “authorized personnel” / the string and tin can veins of it all / where no one sees me cry)

here, the endless Christmas Eve service / forgotten summer hymns forgotten again / altar of fake plants / benches like pews / empty like every day but Sunday

burst outside for long awaited cigarette break / the forever tinkling / sound of snowfall to an insect / ceaseless Salvation Army bell

Rebecca Kokitus is a part time resident of Media, PA just outside Philadelphia, and a part time resident of a small town in rural Schuylkill County, PA. She is an aspiring poet and is currently an undergraduate in the writing program at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She has recent work in Rag Queen Periodical and Moonchild Magazine, and more work in other places. She tweets at @rxbxcca_anna.

Flamboyan – a poem by Maria Marrero

Flamboyan

You say it must come down
(Inside is the orange red where roots take hold)

What would happen if the flamboyan
Spread its roots beneath the house
Burrowed through the foundation
And appeared unannounced in the living room
Like a new baby, leaving pollen on the table
Petals, stamen, arrogant pistils

August sun burns the asphalt
Dogs sleep protected under its fronds
before it comes down

 

Maria Marrero was nurtured on pablum and poetry by her mother who sang her “las
Nanas”, little verses in Spanish. She is a lover of poetry and a lover of
words in both Spanish and English. She has taught writing for over 30
years, and now that she’s retired she finally has the time to write
poetry every day.